Mental health charity to close after £200k fundraiser falls short

Sea Sanctuary, which employed 35 people, will hand back donations and redistribute surplus cash to similar charities

Sea Sanctuary

A mental health charity will close at the end of January after failing to raise the funds needed to survive.

Sea Sanctuary, based in Cornwall, launched a fundraising appeal to raise £200,000 before the end of 2022 to avoid closure, following a year of “unprecedented spending cuts”.

But Joe Sabien, founder and chief executive of the charity, tweeted on Tuesday to confirm that the charity would close, as the fundraising campaign has been unsuccessful.

Sabien wrote: “Despite our best endeavours and the generosity of the public/followers and our clients, we have been unsuccessful in raising the required amount to remain open.

“As a result, the charity will be closing at the end of January 2023.

“On behalf of the directors and staff alike, we would like to thank you for your support over these years and we sincerely hope that our service has been of help – please remember though, you are the real engine behind your improved health.

“Our congratulations to each and every one of you for your courage, bravery and determination to flourish.”

Sabien added that the charity would be refunding donations to those who may want them and that it would donate any surplus to other mental health organisations in the local community.

The charity had been operating for 13 years and provided ‘blue therapy’ activities for people struggling with their mental health, including trips on barges and yachts.

According to its latest accounts, the charity had an income of £1m last year and around 35 members of staff.

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